SPONSORED CONTENT -- (StatePoint) In an era where social media content is considered news, birth control has become a complicated topic with anecdotes deemed – by some – as total truths.
But not everyone has the same birth control needs, and social media conversations don’t always tell the whole story. That’s why women’s health expert, Brooke Faught, DNP – spokesperson for Twirla (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) transdermal system, a birth control patch – is breaking down some common myths to help women have informed conversations about their birth control choices.
Twirla is a weekly birth control patch for women with a BMI less than 30 who can become pregnant. Twirla is less effective in women with a BMI of 25 or more. Do not use Twirla if you have a BMI of 30 or more. Please see Boxed Warning regarding cardiovascular risks associated with smoking and with having a BMI of 30 or more as well as other Important Safety Information at the end of this article or at Twirla.com.
Myth: There is a form of birth control that is considered the best fit for everyone.
Brooke: “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to birth control. Thankfully, the options available today allow us to cater to the personal goals of each patient. For example, some may feel most comfortable with a daily regimen like a pill, while others with busy schedules or who have qualms about invasive or longer-term options may prefer a weekly birth control patch, like Twirla. Twirla is applied once weekly for three weeks each month, with no patch in the fourth week. Just check Twirla daily and after water exposure to make sure the edges haven’t lifted.”
Myth: Non-hormonal birth control is better for you.
Brooke: “There are drastic differences between hormonal and non-hormonal birth control. While there is a lot of chatter about this on social media, each birth control option has its own risks and benefits. It all depends on the individual’s circumstances and any underlying health risks, which is why open dialogue with your provider is key.”
Myth: When it comes to hormones, all hormonal birth control is the same.
Brooke: “Not all hormonal birth controls are the same – even among different products of the same method. Some vary in the amount or type of hormone given as well as in their effectiveness rate. For example, Twirla is 95% effective in preventing pregnancy and is the only birth control patch that delivers a low dose of estrogen.”
Common side effects reported for Twirla were skin reactions at the patch site, nausea, headache, menstrual cramps and weight gain.
Myth: Women should only discuss options their doctor presents versus proactively asking about products they researched or heard about.
Brooke: “Women should feel empowered to express their birth control needs and come to their appointment with questions. If you have a question about something you see on social media, use it as a conversation starter with your doctor. It’s perfectly okay to ask for a specific birth control by name – your provider can confirm if it’s a good fit based on your needs and medical history.”
Myth: Women should take a break from birth control, otherwise it could impact their ability to get pregnant later in life.
Brooke: “There is no published clinical data that indicate birth control impacts a woman’s fertility long-term.”
These are not the only misconceptions when it comes to birth control, so be sure to talk to your doctor openly about what you’ve seen on social media and your preferences for birth control.
This article is sponsored by Agile Therapeutics, Inc. [PM-US-TW-0290]
Important Safety Information about TWIRLA® (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) transdermal system, including Boxed Warning
• Do not use TWIRLA if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from combination hormonal contraceptives (CHCs), including death from heart attack, blood clots or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.
• Do not use TWIRLA if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 kg/m2 or more. If you do not know what your BMI is, please talk to your health care provider. Women with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more who use CHCs may have a higher risk for developing side effects like blood clots compared to women with a BMI lower than 30 kg/m2.
Who should not use TWIRLA?
Do not use TWIRLA if you have or have had blood clots; history of heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure that medicine cannot control, any condition that makes your blood clot more than normal, certain heart valve problems; smoke and are over 35 years old; BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2.
TWIRLA is also not for women who have diabetes and are over 35 years old, diabetes with high blood pressure or kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage, diabetes for longer than 20 years; have had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones; certain kinds of severe migraine headaches; have liver problems or liver tumors; unexplained bleeding from the vagina, who are or may be pregnant; or take hepatitis C drugs containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir, as this may increase levels of liver enzymes in the blood.
TWIRLA may not be a good choice for you if you have ever had depression; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy (also called cholestasis of pregnancy) or related to previous use of hormonal birth control.
What are the most serious side effects of TWIRLA?
TWIRLA increases the risks of serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, or heart attack especially in women who have other risk factors. These can be life-threatening or lead to permanent disability. This increased risk is highest when you first start using hormonal birth control and when you restart the same or different hormonal birth control after not using it for a month or more. Treatment with TWIRLA should be stopped at least 4 weeks before and through 2 weeks after major surgery.
What are the most common side effects of TWIRLA?
The most common side effects reported by women using TWIRLA in a study were skin reactions at the patch site, nausea, headache, menstrual cramps, and weight gain.
These are not all the possible side effects of TWIRLA. Call your health care provider for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
What else should I know about TWIRLA?
TWIRLA is a birth control patch for women with a BMI less than 30 kg/m2 who can become pregnant. It contains two female hormones, a progestin called levonorgestrel, and an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol. TWIRLA may not be as effective in women with a BMI of 25 kg/m2 or more. If you have a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more, please talk with your health care provider about which method of birth control is right for you.
You should not use TWIRLA any earlier than 4 weeks after having a baby or if you are breastfeeding.
Hormonal birth control methods help to lower the chances of becoming pregnant when taken as directed. They do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The risk information provided here is not complete. To learn more, review the TWIRLA Patient Information and talk with your health care provider or pharmacist.